Testing was accomplished at Pratt and Whitney facilities in Quebec, and a demonstrator flight is prepared for 2024.
American multinational aerospace and defense conglomerate Raytheon Technologies declared Tuesday it had completed the first ground test of its new hybrid-electric engine. The powerplant will be mounted on a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 demonstrator aircraft, scheduled for its 1st test flight in 2024.
Raytheon’s subsidiary Pratt & Whitney’s facilities in
Like many other sustainability-related aviation propulsion projects, Raytheon’s hybrid engine is the result of a broad collaboration between several stakeholders and experts in their specific places.
Testing of the powerplant was undertaken at Raytheon’s subsidiary Pratt & Whitney’s facilities in Quebec, Canada. The engine itself combines a regular Pratt & Whitney engine with a 1MW electric motor set by another subsidiary – Collins Aerospace. Raytheon says it will reduce fuel burn and CO2 emissions by up to 30% compared to the most advanced regional turboprops flying today.
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“Hybrid-electric propulsion technology
“Hybrid-electric propulsion technology offers significant potential to optimize efficiency across a range of different aircraft applications, supporting our aviation industry to meet its ambitious plan of achieving net zero CO2 emissions as we continue to expand our collaboration within Canada’s aerospace ecosystem and beyond. With our ground test program now well underway, planned flight testing will enable us to accelerate the demonstration of this next-generation sustainable propulsion technology.”
The 1MW powerplant will be mounted on a De Havilland Dash 8-100 turboprop aircraft, scheduled to perform its 1st test flight in 2024. The engine and its technology will permit more efficient engine performance during the different phases of flight, such as take-off, climb, and cruise.
Raytheon has selected Flight Test Centre of Excellence (FTCE) 3C to modify the Dash 8-100, as well as operate the aircraft, which will serve as a platform for coming flight demonstrations.
“3C has assembled a trusted Quebec team that includes Chrono Aviation, WAAS Aerospace, and Elisen and associés to integrate the hybrid-electric powertrain, battery system, and high voltage electrical harness into 3C’s Dash 8 research plane. I am sure that 3C’s extensive flight test experience and historical relationship with Transport Canada will complement Raytheon Technologies’ outstanding team to safely demonstrate this important technological advance.”
The project was announced in last year July 2021 and is backed by Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund as part of the government’s Green Recovery Plan and an initiative known as “Aéronef pour la mobilité numérique et Verte de Demain (Green and Digital Aircraft of Tomorrow).”
Meanwhile, it is not the only low-emission propulsion system being readied to power De Havilland turboprop aircraft. The airframe manufacturer is also cooperating on a hydrogen-electric 2MW+ fuel cell powerplant from ZeroAvia, which will be mounted onto Dash 8-400 aircraft.
According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the 2 groups last year December 2021, they will develop a line-fit and retrofit program for both new and in-service aircraft. Furthermore, De Havilland Canada will have options to buy 50 ZeroAvia hydrogen-electric engines. ZeroAvia will also develop a demonstrator aircraft with the support of De Havilland.
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